Maggot-infested cheese and bull penis would look a bit out of place on most London restaurant menus. But casu marzu (literally ‘rotten cheese’) is a Sardinian speciality, while bovine todgers are eaten as an aphrodisiac in China. Now you can encounter, and recoil from, both of these delights at the temporary Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, Sweden (housed in a former slaughterhouse; a pop-up version in LA closes later this month). Other great delicacies to look out for include roasted guinea pig and baby-mice wine. Hungry yet?
For the price of admission, visitors with a strong stomach can sample rotten shark from Iceland, fermented herring from Sweden and durian, a notoriously pongy fruit from Thailand and Indonesia. But beyond the perverse fascination and vids of you out-eating your mates, the message is a serious one. Paradoxically, the museum of gross grub aims to widen our appreciation of other cuisines by exposing disgust as a cultural construct. Something that provokes a ‘hell no’ from some diners might be gobbled down by others.
‘We need to question our ideas of disgust if we’re going to consider some of the more environmentally friendly sources of protein, such as insects,’ says curator and ‘chief disgustologist’ Samuel West. If all this sounds like enough to make you puke, the museum’s got your back: your entry ticket doubles up as a barf bag. Bon appétit!